Ron Paul's Foreign Policy

Stephen Berry's picture
Submitted by Stephen Berry on Mon, 2011-12-19 23:08

There are things about Ron Paul that concern me.

1) He thinks it is acceptable for the states to regulate things in a way that it is not for the federal government. Theoretically this could mean a state banning marijuana.

2) He supports allowing the states to ban abortion. As much as I hate abortion I hate the banning of it even more.

3) He is a Baptist - but being religous doesn't necessarily make you an enemy of freedom. Christianity is somewhat of a pre-requisite in the US if one is to stand for President.

I know that the one which concerns many of you is his foreign policy. Many years ago I supported the invasion of Iraq. In recent times I have changed my mind, for the reasons Paul espouses. I guess my question of you is: How the hell are we going to pay for the invasion of more nations such as Iran? North Korea should surely be a candidate too as they already have a severely limited nuclear capablity. Currently the US deficit is over $1.6 trillion. How can they afford to invade another country - especially if, as you, I and Ron Paul advocate, income tax is abolished?


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For The Record

Michael Moeller's picture

I am not evading Goode's stupid questions, I am evading him. This creature has some audacity. As I have carefully documented, Goode has constantly evaded and misrepresented the facts.

For instance, not more than a few posts ago on this thread, Goode got caught red-handed misrepresenting the contents of a video. He completely evaded me calling him out on his blantant misrepresentation, and now he has the audacity to talk about evasion? He also has misrepresented the facts of Ron Paul's newsletters so many times that I have lost track, as I illustrated here.

Ergo, I have no intent on continuing a discussion with him on this matter. He'll distort my answers -- and no matter how many times he gets called out -- he'll continue on his merry way as if he is an innocent little lamb. Goode has illustrated every intent and purpose to misrepresent the facts and to evade when called to account for his treachery. Goode is plumbing the depths of dishonesty.

If somebody else wants to ask his stupid questions, I will be more than happy to answer.

Michael

Reality check

Richard Goode's picture

As I said on the other thread, Goode is without a doubt up to no good. ... There is something very sinister here in regards to Goode's actions.

Moeller is without a doubt up to no good on the other thread and there is something very sinister in regards to Moeller's actions on this thread. Let's take a look.

"Golden Rule" Foreign Policy

This answer from last night's debate is astonishingly dreadful -- even by Ron Paul standards. Moral relativism, excuse-making, demagoguery, stream of consciouness rambling -- when he didn't breakdown into total incoherence. Gingrich should not have restricted "utterly irrational" to Ron Paul's Chinese analogy only.

Moeller accuses Ron Paul of "[m]oral relativism, excuse-making, demagoguery, stream of consciouness rambling" and leads us to believe that Ron Paul breaks down into "total incoherence". SOLOists be warned! WATCH THE VIDEO. It is no evidence whatsoever for any of Moeller's accusations. In fact, it is evidence of Gingrich's dishonesty and demagoguery.

I already asked Moeller

At what point did Ron Paul break down into total incoherence?

and

Did Ron Paul break down into total incoherence? If so, at what point?

So far, Moeller has evaded answering my questions. Watch this space.

Linz

Michael Moeller's picture

As I said on the other thread, Goode is without a doubt up to no good. It is not simply memory loss. He keeps bringing up the subject when the facts have been reported by me and everybody else in the media, and he continues to completely evade them. In addition, he asked for evidence of Ron Paul blaming America for 9-11, and I give him specific videos. What does he proceed to do? He completely misrepresents what the sources say, then Goode totally evades once called out on his treachery.

Given these instances, I am without doubt that Goode is engaging in a smear campaign against me. Furthermore, I think it is fair to ask why he keeps feigning ignorance and/or misrepresenting the facts, especially when the whole world knows the story by now. Has he been a Ronulan all along and is now running cover for the most egegrious aspects of Ron Paul's history?

This is certainly plausible. Why else would he continue to present partial stories of Ron Paul's newsletters and completely evade the 9-11 statements? There is something very sinister here in regards to Goode's actions.

Michael

New Testament sound-bites go with the Goblian territory

Richard Goode's picture

I did not come to bring peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34) ... the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)

Literary allusion. Loony stuff.

Moeller's MO

Richard Goode's picture

BTW, I never accused Ron Paul of being a racist and we already went 'round and 'round about it, so stop lying.

I never said you accused Ron Paul of being a racist, Michael. Outright accusation is not your MO. As I already said here

That's how smear artists operate. No straight answers. Just insinuation and innuendo.

Michael

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You ask of Baade:


I am seriously questioning why you keep bringing this up, even though you've been straightened out on the matter at least five times now. Very curious, very curious indeed.

I'm starting to think Baade genuinely doesn't remember. We've seen the same thing many times in other arguments. We see serious memory loss combined with delusion. This morning he said on the Hudgins thread:

I did not come to bring peace, but a sword ... the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

We're into white coats territory here. Loony stuff. Often goes with the Goblian territory. Saade.

Moeller evades

Richard Goode's picture

... when he didn't breakdown into total incoherence.

Did Ron Paul break down into total incoherence? If so, at what point? I must have missed it.

Stunning Analysis, Goose

Michael Moeller's picture

Goode, whatever your name is.

This is about the 10th time you've brought up the racial content of his newsletter, which was subsequently glued to your eyeballs on each occasion, and now you are STILL calling them "nothing much to see"?

Even after the WHOLE WORLD has concluded otherwise about those statements? (BTW, I never accused Ron Paul of being a racist and we already went 'round and 'round about it, so stop lying.)

Are you running cover for just Ron Paul, or do you also run cover racists/racial statements? I am seriously questioning why you keep bringing this up, even though you've been straightened out on the matter at least five times now. Very curious, very curious indeed.

Total incoherence

Richard Goode's picture

This answer from last night's debate is astonishingly dreadful -- even by Ron Paul standards. Moral relativism, excuse-making, demagoguery ...

Demagoguery?! Gingrich is the demagogue, not Paul! This is yet another of your disgusting Ron Paul smears. Before, you insinuated that Ron Paul was a racist. I took a good look at your sources, and there was nothing much to see. Now I bothered to watch the video clip you posted, and the opposite of what you claim is the case.

... stream of consciouness rambling -- when he didn't breakdown into total incoherence.

At what point did Ron Paul break down into total incoherence? 4:20?

Reverend Ron Paul Wright

Michael Moeller's picture

In honor of Ron Paul's answer in the debate the other night, I am reposting this video. This video is much more coherent and entertaining, especially when the Reverend Ron Paul Wright kicks it in at ~1:20.

Ross

Michael Moeller's picture

I prefer that the Big Stick be used when the Islamists get the bright idea that they can kill and attack Americans, and do so without impunity.

What do you think of Ron Paul's answer in the video I just provided? Is it not risible or what?

Michael

Ross

Michael Moeller's picture

I didn't know you posed a federalism question, and I still find your formulation confused (or confusing). You wrote:

If we have federalism, is it a mere administrative division, or is it something greater and more important? Does federalism have import?

Yes, the Feds can and should describe universal rights that no state can violate, but at what point does that reduce them to mere functionaries?

I think you are making faulty assumptions and/or misconstruing the way the system actually works.

The states are sovereign in their sphere of legislative powers (let's put aside areas of legislative overlap and the Supremacy Clause for now). The states have the ability to exercise legitimate powers that are not given to the feds, i.e. those powers not enumerated. And they do legislate in areas completely apart from Congressional influence, such as setting criminal statutes, real property laws, torts, etc. etc. In these cases, the states are in no sense "functionaries" of the feds.

There has to be a constitutional issue to appeal the state law in federal court. Is the state law/action a violation of unreasonable search & seizure? Is the state law a violation of eminent domain? Is the state law a violation of cruel & unusual punishment? etc. etc.

What is happening is that state law is being assessed based on the constitutional protections for individual rights. How are the states "functionaries" of the feds? Do you think citizens of a state should have recourse in federal court to determine the constitutionality of state laws?

Well, Ron Paul does NOT. That's right, he does not. He thinks the 14th Amendment -- the one that incorporates the Bill of Rights against the states -- is invalid, which would allow states to violate the rights of citizens without citizens being able to seek recourse in federal court for unconstitutional violations of individual rights.

For instance, he argued that the federal courts should have been stripped of jurisdiction in the Kelo case. Thus, under Ron Paul's theory, Ms. Kelo would have no recourse in federal court to assess constitutionality when the city of New London seized her property. Is this a theory you agree with, Ross? And I have never seen -- not anywhere -- Ron Paul placing any limits on state action/law and allowing the ability of the citizen to seek recourse under the federal Constitution in federal court. Do you consider this theory an embodiment of federalism, Ross?

I think there is little doubt why he advocates this ill-conceived and warped "states' rights" theory. The guy has been in bed with anarchists like Lew Rockwell since the 70's, and they all advocate this same theory. Why? Because it promotes the breakdown of the federalist system by first attacking the federal government -- whether or not the feds are exercising legitimate powers. It is an attack on government as such, and thus a stepping stone to the anarchist utopia. If they got their way, no doubt the next step would be to attack the state governments in favor of municipal governments, etc etc.

Ross:

Isn't the Commerce Clause the best case in point? Further, if we had a state that decided to disavow the regulatory authority of the Feds based upon unconstitutional powers, wouldn't we all support it?

I think you are misconstruing the original purpose and history of the Commerce Clause, and equating it with the feds imposing regulations.

First, a little history. The Interstate Commerce Clause was not enacted for the purpose of allowing the feds to impose regulations on the states, but for the purpose of preventing the states from enacting protectionist measures against other states. "Regulate" simply meant "to make regular", i.e. to prevent trade wars among the several states.

This is modernly referred to as the "Dormant Commerce Clause", and it should be a valuable tool against the states enacting protectionist trade restrictions. Indeed, many early cases, particularly in the early 20th century, the states were impeding free trade, such as fees/monopolies on transportation and the transport of goods across state lines, price controls on such things as milk, etc etc. These should have been struck down under the Interstate Commerce Clause, if not substantive due process.

Likewise, today, it should also be used to invalidate such trade restrictions as the inability of citizens to buy health insurance across state lines. But not for Ron Paul. He thinks states can impose these regulations -- all the way up to an individual health insurance mandate. Do you agree with that, Ross?

Now, the Interstate Commerce Clause has also been warped to allow Congress to impose regulations across the states, which was not the purpose of the ICC. For instance, it is being used to justify Obamacare. The misuse by the federal government is a wholly separate issue involving federal law, and whether or not Congress can do so under the ICC. Congress should not be able to impose regulations, but merely prevent the states from doing so.

Ergo, when you bring up the issue of the Interstate Commerce Clause, you also need to separate out the fact that it prevents the states from enacting protectionist measures (i.e. valid use) from the feds imposing regulations (i.e. invalid use). Two different issues.

Michael

Hail fellow well met

Richard Goode's picture

So, I guess we're all voting for Gingrich now?

I wouldn't vote for anyone who looks like a nasty money-grubbing televangelist.

Newt Gingrich + televangelist

Hang on...

Ross Elliot's picture

"The concept of individual rights is not a disagreement over which level of government (federal vs. state) is allowed to constrain your choices and actions (absent your use of force), but whether the government -- on any level -- can violate your freedom of choice and action."

...although Michael is correct that individual rights are universal, he isn't answering the question posed by federalism. I mentioned this on another thread.

If we have federalism, is it a mere administrative division, or is it something greater and more important? Does federalism have import?

Yes, the Feds can and should describe universal rights that no state can violate, but at what point does that reduce them to mere functionaries?

Isn't the purpose of federalism to provide an important check upon federal power? Just as the enumerated powers and the Bill of Rights do in the constitution? Just as the Supreme Court is meant to do?

Isn't the Commerce Clause the best case in point? Further, if we had a state that decided to disavow the regulatory authority of the Feds based upon unconstitutional powers, wouldn't we all support it?

So then, according to provisions laid down in the Constitution, the Feds make a substantially egregious amendment, don't we, in the end we have this:

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Now, Jefferson may have been writing within a certain historical context, but those words mean everything.

So, I guess we're all voting....

Ross Elliot's picture

...for Gingrich now?

Paul is wrong on blowback. For the record, my thoughts on blowback have always being clarified by the ostensible motive of Bin Laden's for retaliation, that being that Saudi soil was sullied by American fighter bases during and after Gulf War I. In that, his problem was with the Saudis, not America. And the motive was weak, anyway. Fact is, the Islamic fascists and misogynists simply don't like any semblance of individual rights, and anything is a good excuse in their book.

That said, and taking a 10,000 foot view, I feel increasingly dirty that America has become so involved in the machinations of primitives. By and large, the Islamists only understand one thing, and that is the big stick. But the big stick can be waved from afar and without jumping into the cesspool.

And the cesspool is where America finds itself. Lesson: America has never been a colonising power. It is not it's style. The British excelled at colonisation because they were inherently racist. Americans don't get that, and they never will. And to their everlasting credit. Americans, for better or worse, have always had an evangelical foreign policy. Get in, get out. Nothing else suits them. America's involvement in WWI was dubious. WWII was a necessity. Korea was a good bet. Vietnam was a disaster. Gulf War I was strategic. Afghanistan was righteous payback. Everything since has been folly.

"Golden Rule" Foreign Policy

Michael Moeller's picture

This answer from last night's debate is astonishingly dreadful -- even by Ron Paul standards. Moral relativism, excuse-making, demagoguery, stream of consciouness rambling -- when he didn't breakdown into total incoherence. Gingrich should not have restricted "utterly irrational" to Ron Paul's Chinese analogy only.

And just in case...

Ross Elliot's picture

...my American cousins are getting a little tired of a non-American suggesting what is right and wrong about America, then here's the point: you don't have to have been born in America to love her and to recognise her uniqueness and greatness. I do, and there I pledge thee my troth.

America can't afford it

Ross Elliot's picture

"He is right to point out that America is broke and cannot keep getting involved in overseas wars, of course, if they dropped most of their other socialist infrastructure then that might be a different picture."

Listen, the objection to America as world policeman has nothing to do with expenditure. The objection is that it's not in America's interests to nation-build or to save idiots from themselves. The world doesn't deserve to be saved: only America qua America deserves to be saved. And if America can't appreciate itself for what it was, and recognise what it has become, then it also does not deserve salvation.

Ross

Michael Moeller's picture

Thanks for the correction and duly noted.

The value of Paul

Damien Grant's picture

Some of Ron Pauls views on the rest of the world are wacky and dangerous but not all. He is right to point out that America is broke and cannot keep getting involved in overseas wars, of course, if they dropped most of their other socialist infrastructure then that might be a different picture.

America needs to stay actively engaged in the world (and i am typing this at the ben gurion airport, something that would not exist were it not for the Americans) and as for killing citizens my view is this, if you take a gun and walk down queen street pointing it at people, then the state is quite entitled to shoot you to protect it's other citizens who are being threatened with death.

You can effectively choose to waive your civil rights if you wish by becoming a threat to the lives of others, the principle of self defense should not need to be re litigated, pauls dislike of the state is a little pathological on this issue.

Anyway, my original point is that paul is exposing a libertarian agenda. It is a little out there but by saying what he is saying and sticking to his views and not compromising, he anchors the debate around him.

He does not need to win and would be a disaster if he did, to have an effect.

Santorum made the point, correctly, that everything we like about Paul he cannot achieve everything we fear about him, he does not need congressional approval for. He is an appeaser, and we know how that works out.

Actually, Michael....

Ross Elliot's picture

...that was *my* foreign policy. Eye

Scoundrel Goode -- At It Again

Michael Moeller's picture

Somehow, Goode apparently missed the Ron Paul quote Levin supplies from the Des Moines Register:

"The US intervention in the Middle East is a main motivation behind terrorist hostilities against America, and that Islam is not a threat to the nation."
[...]
"'I don't see Islam as our enemy', Paul said. 'I see that motivation as occupation. And those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land -- the support of their dictators that they hate.'"

Gee, why didn't Goode take the actual quotes from the Des Moines Register? Piece of garbage, this Witch Doctor Goode.

Michael

Hey, Witch Doctor Goode

Michael Moeller's picture

How about you take the quotes from Ron Paul instead? Where does Ron Paul say in the quotes from Levin, or the other videos, that we are only "part" of the problem. Sometimes, Ron Paul says "in part", and other times he completely evades the role of Islamists and their own ideology. Which Ron Paul do you believe, considering he never fails to bring up American foreign policy as the cause of Islamic terrorism?

Either way, it does not matter. He is blaming America for 9-11 as he considers it a result of our foreign policy, if only in part. But as you also should grasp from the Levin video, Ron Paul says we wouldn't have to "worry" about terrorist attacks if we were not "over there", i.e. we are the primary cause even if our foreign policy is only one of a multiplicity of causes.

Do you buy that Goode? Do you buy that if we "left them alone" the Islamists would go away?

Care to take a stab at my other questions?

Michael

Another day in the life of Michael Moeller

Richard Goode's picture

Please do explain, Goode.

Easy done. You say

The guy blames America for 9-11.

I say

Ron Paul does not blame America for 9-11. ... Ron Paul claims that the 9-11 attacks happened in part because of American foreign policy.

Who's right? Well, let me quote one of your sources. According to Mark Levin (surely no friend of Ron Paul's), Ron Paul would claim

that the 9-11 attacks happened in part because of our [i.e., American] foreign policy.

Gee, what I say and what your source says are, word-for-word, virtually identical. Funny that. Care to try again, Michael?

Another Piece of Ignorance from Witch Doctor Goode

Michael Moeller's picture

In the first video, Ron Paul is quoting bin Laden on the reasons for attacking America. Same thing in the second video, and there is plenty more where that came from. Or you can check out the third audio where Mark Levin quotes Ron Paul from an Iowa newspaper around the 10th anniversary of 9-11. He clearly states that America was attacked because we are "over there", and then brings up a list of greivances like unfair treatment of the Palestinians, bases on their holy land, bombings in Iraq, supporting the Shah in 1953, "blowback", etc. etc. In other words, but-for our foreign policy, these terrorist actions would not have happened. If that is not blaming America, in addition to being a propagandist for bin Laden, I do not know what is.

This is what happens when Witch Doctor Goode actually tries to defend a position, he exposes his ignorance. Care to try again, Goode?

And Goode, if we are attacked because we are "over there", how do you explain Islamist terrorist attacks where they don't have people "over there" (eg, Netherlands, Spain, Bali). If Ron Paul blames our support of the Shah in 1953, then why didn't they stop the attacks in 1979 once the Shah was deposed? In fact, the attacks from Iran have increased exponentially since we broke of diplomatic relations and have no presence in their country. Please do explain, Goode.

Michael

Another day in the life of Michael Moeller

Richard Goode's picture

But by all means, Goode, prove yourself -- prove that I have misrepresented Ron Paul's policies.

Easy done. You say

The guy blames America for 9-11.

Ron Paul does not blame America for 9-11. This is a typical Moeller misrepresentation of what Ron Paul actually said. Ron Paul claims that the 9-11 attacks happened in part because of American foreign policy. And you know what? The 9-11 attacks did, indeed, happen in part because of American foreign policy. Ron Paul is looking reality straight in the face.

Another day, another smear.

Looking at Reality

Michael Moeller's picture

Goode:

Is my concern really only a residue of the smear-mongering and fear-mongering of the likes of Michael Moeller, to be wiped away with a damp cloth?

No, it's called examining Ron Paul's actual policies, i.e. looking reality straight in the face. But by all means, Goode, prove yourself -- prove that I have misrepresented Ron Paul's policies. [See Goode exit stage left.]

Michael

Ross

Michael Moeller's picture

You are whitewashing Ron Paul's foreign policy. As I said earlier, his foreign policy is not confined to not being the world's policeman and being against nation-building. The guy blames America for 9-11. He says the Palestinians are the victims of Israeli "concentration camps". He decries the killing of al-Awlaki and bin Laden, calling them against "the rule of law" -- a law that he signed. And on and on.

His foreign policy view is an extreme failure of morality (see: moral relativism) and his political ideal (see: anarchism). Yeah, no thanks. I want to see him out of American politics -- and fast.

Thankfully, it is the end of the line for Ron Paul. He put all his resources and geared his organization towards Iowa and NH, particularly Iowa where he ran a disappointing 3rd (considering he had a chance to win). Nationally, he is polling a distant 4th, and polling a distant 4th in the upcoming primaries in South Carolina and Florida. Put a fork in him.

Michael

Don't Fail Me Now, Linz!

Michael Moeller's picture

This was the point of my earlier question to Ross, to wit: would you still advocate for Ron Paul if he gave the same type of speeches, but his actual proposal was one of Stalin's five-year plans?

Everybody knows that Ron Paul can say good things about the free market. The point is is that his rhetoric does not match reality. At one time, he said entitlements were unconstitutional and he would end them. Another time he said he would cut them by 20% across the board. Yet, what does his budget do instead? Increases them at a good clip.

And that is the power of Ron Paul with respect to classical liberal types, he wants you to watch what his right hand is doing while his left hand is stabbing you in the back.

I can see why you don't like Huntsman, Linz, and neither do I. Apparently, he likes to promote his "coolness". He is afflicted with the Progressive mentality. Funny thing is, he actually has a good fiscal record as governor and is a strong backer of the Ryan Plan, which Ron Paul denounced (and then proposed worse).

Perry, my original choice, has far and away the best fiscal policy. He has a flat tax proposal, his elimination of federal departments, his privatizing Social Security, his vouchering Medicare/Medicaid, starting at $0 on foreign aid for each country, etc is the best fiscal policy on the table of any of the candidates, not to mention he is not a lunatic on foreign policy. What is Ron Paul's fiscal advantage over Perry? That he would eliminate 5 departments to Perry's 3? Unfortunately, Perry was done-in by his gaffes and inarticulateness in the debates. Now that he is running far behind, he decided to try and catch Romney by attacking one of the few positives about Romney -- his work as a private capitalist. That is disgusting, especially when he started his campaign promising to make government irrelevant to our lives. He should have hammered that message and worked his ass off at getting coaching and improving his advocacy, but now he is desperate and trying to gain cheap political points against Romney. Lamentable.

But the bottom line is that you judge on policy, and failures of advocacy by the other candidates do not make Ron Paul's policies any more palatable, and his rhetoric to the contrary only makes him a traitor.

Michael

If America's role is not to be...

Ross Elliot's picture

...world policeman, then what is America to do?

Isn't the goal to hold fast, to identify threats, and then to hit hard? I say yes.

But that's not America's policy and hasn't been since the end of WW2. You see, the world has all at once relied upon American occupation and support while at the same time despising that support. I say, get out and let the ungrateful wallow in their nationalistic freedom and let America only intervene, and that tactically, in her own interests, and not give way to conservative idiotics like bases here and bases there.

I'm conflicted too ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

As I just said on the Hudgins thread:

Not for the first time, I'm wavering on Paul. His appeasement of Islamofilth is beneath contempt, and cannot be brushed aside under the purview of not wasting resources overseas, which we all agree on—contrary to the True Believer mantra of Paul's worshippers that any critic of the man favours World Policeman Nation-building and the like. His domestic policy, as Mr Moeller has painstakingly demonstrated, is pretty crappy too, and doesn't come close to measuring up to his rhetoric. But dammit, his rhetoric tonight was so good, and the other candidates so lamentable, I might just yet be persuaded that Paul is the least bad (but still awful) of a bunch of woefully—and often loathsomely—inadequate wannabes. I said long ago that if it came to it I'd root for Paul over Obamugabe; now I might contemplate rooting for him over Romney. Might. But they're both disgusting.

Well, Linz ...

Richard Goode's picture

Putting aside my really silly last sentence ... would you care to address my concerns? I like Ron Paul, but I really don't relish the prospect of a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic of Iran. Ahmadinejad is certifiably evil. I'm conflicted.

Oh, Baade ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

That was quite a goode post ... till the last sentence. Really silly.

Ron Paul

Richard Goode's picture

I came in part way through Ron Paul. He was excellent—even the foreign policy bits, given that he confined himself to saying don't waste resources overseas and not nutty stuff like look the other way when Iran gets a nuke.

The presidential primaries and caucuses are an opportunity for interested onlookers to get to know the candidates. The more I get to know Ron Paul, the more I like. He's staunchly libertarian and staunchly Christian, so I suppose I would.

My only remaining concern is Paul's supposed predisposition to "look the other way when Iran gets a nuke." But is this a realistic concern? If Ron Paul were to become POTUS, would he really allow this to happen? In any case, would Israel allow it to happen? Is my concern really only a residue of the smear-mongering and fear-mongering of the likes of Michael Moeller, to be wiped away with a damp cloth?

A pity..

gregster's picture

..that Johnson has been undermined by the conservative machine. He would have been the best.

Ah, no ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Reading the article in full I see it says no more than the excerpt: that Johnson has placed himself in the same cesspool as those who endorse adult/child sex. As it stands, that's a smear.

Stephen

Richard Goode's picture

As much as I hate abortion I hate the banning of it even more.

Why do you hate abortion?

For a Christian libertarian perspective on abortion, I highly recommend you read this.

Very well said!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Someone in the ACT Party told me that Jim Peron is on the loose again, and weighing in for Gary Johnson. Do I take it from Armstrong's article that Johnson endorses the "right" of adults to have sex with children? That would explain a lot.

Libertarians: Even with Gary Johnson..

gregster's picture

A good article by Ari Armstrong.

Even with Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party Undermines Liberty

The Objective Standard, Jan 9 2012.

Because libertarians generally deny the possibility of objective standards in morality, they offer no coherent theory of rights or of what constitutes freedom or force; thus, they disagree about all sorts of important issues in addition to abortion. For example, some support intellectual property rights, while others regard any effort to impose copyrights or patents as an “initiation of force” (see the Wikipedia entry devoted to this debate.)

Likewise, some libertarians argue that children should be “free” to have sex with adults. Although the LP platform says, “Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships,” Mary Ruwart, an author featured prominently by Advocates for Self-Government and a leading contender for the 2008 LP presidential ticket, claims that restriction is too narrow. Regarding the question of child pornography, she writes in her book on libertarianism: “Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision.” Such a view obliterates the very meaning of rights and sanctions the ugliest of crimes. Granted, many libertarians rightly recoil at such positions, but that does not change the fact that Johnson has placed himself in the same philosophic cesspool as the likes of Ruwart.

Libertarians do tend to agree on foreign policy, on which subject their views are generally abhorrent. The libertarian aversion to government as such helps explain why libertarians such as Ron Paul routinely denounce U.S. efforts toward self-defense and blame America for Islamist terrorism. Granted, various U.S. foreign policy moves have failed to defend America and in fact have empowered Islamist states that sponsor terrorism. But this does not change the fact that Islamists are ideologically driven to establish a global Islamic theocracy and that Islamist terrorism stems fundamentally from that goal. Yet libertarians routinely bury their heads in the sand in the face of such threats, choosing instead to blame our government."

Hard to know

Damien Grant's picture

Republicans views on social issues are appalling (save for Paul) and the democrats views on economics are appalling.

It comes down to which attack on your liberty upsets you the least.

Mostly though the republicans appear to have lost the debate on social issues,is it really feasible that row v wade would be overturned?

And there is always Canada.

Bizarr-O

Michael Moeller's picture

Sandi: "What is so wrong with free choice?"

You have a bizarre understanding of "free choice", Sandi. How does it constitute the "free choice" of an individual if a state government is allowed to constrain that choice by force?

The concept of individual rights is not a disagreement over which level of government (federal vs. state) is allowed to constrain your choices and actions (absent your use of force), but whether the government -- on any level -- can violate your freedom of choice and action.

You are deeply confused.

Michael

Government Production of News Reports - Mainstream.

Sandi's picture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
Faking It: How the Media Manipulates the World into War

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
Judge Napolitano: What if they're lying to you about Ron Paul? - Fox Business

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
Why They Call It The American Dream(The Truth Exposed Pt.1)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
Why They Call It The American Dream(The Truth Exposed Pt.2A)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
Why They Call It The American Dream(The Truth Exposed Pt.2B)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
Why They Call It The American Dream(The Truth Exposed Pt.2C)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
Why They Call It The American Dream(The Truth Exposed Pt.3A)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
Why They Call It The American Dream(The Truth Exposed Pt.3B)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
Why They Call It The American Dream(The Truth Exposed Pt.3C)

Ron Paul on Abortion

Sandi's picture

"Let the States decide"

What is so wrong with free choice? If a particular state is overly religious and their views are that abortion is morally repugnant to them, it is you who wishes to apply force. You do not have to live in that state. Period.

If they desire to live in a coercive environment (which religion dictates anyhow), leave them to it. For goodness sake, leave them to get on with the retardation created by their submissive sacrificial direction. Some people are slow to learn but it is you who insists upon using FORCE against the free-will of those who value coercion.

Go live in a state which extols your values, virtues and morality (naturally it will be the most successful) and yet that isn't enough. You are not prepared to live and let live.

Ron Paul has nailed the abortion issue.

Michael...

Ross Elliot's picture

...this is what it boils down to: if you had a nominee to vote for today, would it be Paul or Romney?

Romney stood on stage today with McCain. Really? Is this the guy?

If the idea is that Paul just ain't perfect enough, then fine, I agree, go with Romney, because he'll be the nominee. Do you doubt it? And after Iowa, Santorum may well be on the ticket for VP.

Your objections to Paul may well be moot, as my support of him may well be. I suspect they will be. And we'll be left with conservatives who think they can *manage* America out of it's woes.

Sure, let's drop Paul for his inconsistencies and isolationism. And let's call a spade a spade: it *is* isolationism. But is Romney really where you want to go?

That's the choice. You ask me to analyse Paul's policies. But how about this: compare Paul's policies to Romney's and Santorum's. Who's the more radical advocate for the downsizing of the Feds?

Further, America's future does not hinge on Iran or Israel, it hinges on America itself.

Moeller for President!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Moeller for 2016!

Newt said it just now in Iowa: Paul's foreign policy is "stunningly dangerous." And you've done an excellent job highlighting that his domestic policy isn't what he cracks it up to be. Your critics here ought indeed to man up and acknowledge, "Case proved."

Moeller Time Ahead of the Curve, Again

Michael Moeller's picture

On the "Why Ron Paul is a traitorous, libertarian idiot" thread I got maligned more than two months ago when I first brought up the issues of Ron Paul's newsletters and his unsavory associates. I was extremely gratified and happy to claim vindication when the media finally decided to vet Ron Paul and bring those issues to the fore.

Well, I am once again happy to put myself ahead of the curve. I have hammered away on that thread and this thread re Ron Paul's alleged fiscal responsibility, which is smoke and mirrors. Not only is his plan to cut certain departments unrealistic (i.e. he puts zeros in their columns and departments that would take years to unwind), but the main problem is he doesn't deal with entitlements. He actually increases them at a good clip, except for Medicare -- by far the least expensive, and he only puts a spending cap on that. All his bluster above reducing spending and individual rights, and the man leaves the biggest violators of both intact. Without attacking entitlements, Ron Paul is fundamentally unserious about spending.

Well lo and behold, this is now picking up some media attention. None other than Mark Steyn picks up on this article in The Weekly Standard arguing how Ron Paul has promulgated "the most timid fiscal policy put forward by any Republican presidential candidate this year". Take a good look at that article.

Now, look at Mark Steyn's adjustment of his opinion. He previously bought the conventional wisdom that Ron Paul was sound on fiscal policy, but when confronted with the facts, he adjusted his opinion accordingly. Mark Steyn's adjustment of his opinion is perfectly rational as he realigns it with the facts.

Not here, not by people like Scott DeSalvo. Nope, instead DeSalvo makes excuses for Ron Paul and maligns me -- with some sort of gorilla logic about how *I* must be a "big government" supporter by bringing forth Ron Paul's proposals on entitlements. You figure that out. Anyway, Steyn aptly names his post "Ignorance is Bliss" for those unwilling to look at the facts re entitlements and to put forth a proposal to deal with the entitlement bomb.

This has been a truly surreal experience for me. When Noam Chomsky or Dennis Kuncinch put forth foreign policy commensurate with Ron Paul's, they are roundly ridiculed. When Ron Paul does it, he is somehow a paragon of the Founders' vision. If Obama put forth Ron Paul's policy on entitlements, he would be rightly denounced. But somehow people around here are claiming Ron Paul is in the mold of the Founders on fiscal policy and individual rights.

Anyway, the point is: for those looking at the facts, are you going to use the rational approach of Mark Steyn, or "The Ignorance is Bliss" approach of Scott DeSalvo?

Here's some good quotes from Steyn, but remember you heard it from Moeller Time first. Eye

Like many chaps round these parts, my general line on Ron Paul was that, as much as I think he’s out of his gourd on Iran et al, he performs a useful role in the GOP line-up talking up the virtues of constitutional conservatism. But this Weekly Standard piece by John McCormack suggests Paul is a humbug even on his core domestic turf: The entitlement state is the single biggest deformation to the Founders’ republic, and it downgrades not only America’s finances but its citizenry. Yet Paul has no serious proposal for dealing with it, and indeed promises voters that we won’t have to as long as we cut “overseas spending”.

This is hooey. As I point out in my book, well before the end of this decade interest payments on the debt will consume more of the federal budget than military spending. So you could abolish the Pentagon, sell off the fleet to Beijing and the nukes to Tehran and Khartoum and anybody else who wants ‘em, and we’d still be heading off the cliff. If a candidate isn’t talking about entitlement transformation, he’s unserious.
...
But Ron Paul, with his breezy indifference to the entitlement question, is peddling the same illusion Obama sold a gullible electorate in 2008 – that, if only America retreats from “Bush’s wars”, life can go on, and we’ll be fat and happy with literally not a care in the world. Big Government parochialism is an appealing fantasy because it suggests America’s fortunes can be restored without pain. But they can’t – and when Ron Paul tells you otherwise he’s talking hogwash."

Excellent point Michael

gregster's picture

but hey, if you object to China invading the US, you must surely object to the US invading Iran, right? Real nice.

It's not something they get too quickly, the intrinsicist libertarians.

_______________________________

Interestingly Ron Paul's comments have a John Banks dimension;

"Given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal."

"We are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational."

"Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks."

Stephen

Michael Moeller's picture

Yes, the $1 trillion in cuts DO have something to do with defense, considering part of those cuts are a 15% reduction in military spending.

Don't you think his priorities are a little out of whack when he is cutting defense -- a legitimate government function -- yet leaving entitlements intact? After all, his $1 trillion in discretionary cuts does not even get us to the Bush deficit and are a one-shot deal. The long-term viability of the US budget must include entitlements, so do you still consider him serious about spending when he is still increasing those at a good clip?

Nice video, btw. Right after Doug makes the prescient point about moral relativism running rampant among libertarians, you step up and provide an excellent example of it. It completely obliterates the distinction among governments and for what purposes they use their militaries (defense vs. aggression), but hey, if you object to China invading the US, you must surely object to the US invading Iran, right? Real nice.

Michael

Ross

Michael Moeller's picture

No, Ron Paul does not have the best message, or the leadership to get whatever he wants implemented. I mean, we are talking about a guy who has gotten one -- exactly ONE -- of his bills passed during his enitre tenure in Congress.

If Ron Paul gave the same speeches, yet his policies amounted to one of Stalin's five-year plans, would you still advocate for him? That's a semi-serious question because I do not see much analysis of his actual policies from the pro-Ron Paul contingent here.

You wanted to focus on domestic policy, so I provided his views on social issues, tax policy, and spending policy, and why he is among the worst candidates in the race. Yet, somehow, you still consider him the most consistent with the Framers' visions, which, by my lights, is obscene by comparison.

Please, Ross, tell me why Ron Paul is so superior on domestic issues -- using his actual policies. I provided his budget to make it easy.

And why the strawmen on foreign policy? I, like many of his critics, do not believe in being the world's policeman or nation-building. And if this was all Ron Paul was advocating, I don't think his foreign policy would be a problem. The trouble is, his foreign policy also includes "free trade" with Iran, offering Iran "friendship", damning Israel while claiming the Palestinians are victims, decrying the deaths of bin Laden and al-Awlaki, and on and on. His foreign policy is essentially indistinguishable from Noam Chomsky.

Do you seriously think that is the embodiment of the Framers' vision? Think again.

Michael

http://www.youtube.com/watch?

Stephen Berry's picture

Nice Back to the Future....

Ross Elliot's picture

...reference.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if objectivist brainacs would spend less time denouncing one another and more time figuring out how to build the flux-capactitor we need to get back to the Future that the Founding Fathers hoped we would gain?"

But it may be stretching the metaphor a little far to say that the terrorists Marty bumped off in the carpark equated to a defence of American culture, although in Part III, the Doc did get his girl. And that's always a good outcome. Eye

Well, actually....

Ross Elliot's picture

..."With that in mind, say you advocate a voluntary taxation system. This is your goal, which I assume to be the case for those arguing we would not have the funds for attacking places like Iran or Afghanistan or Iraq. Well, does Ron Paul offer the best tax policy to push us in that direction? No, he has the second worst tax policy of all the Republican candidates."

...I'm not advocating a voluntary tax system in the current context, and minarchism doesn't necessarily imply it. We're a long way from the minimal state. The goal, my goal, is for America to repair to it's fundamental business, which is business.

Let the fucking world go to hell. Let American battle groups defend American trade, and the trade of it's friends. Let America project force in it's own interests according to free trade principles. Let America hammer, without consideration of altruistic principles like nation building, it's enemies. Let America be feared in the same way that a petty criminal fears the bright light of the law.

This is far different than what America does now. And if we're calling a spade a spade, it's isolationist in character. To restate the principle: friendship with our friends, entangling alliances with none, and let our trade pass, or suffer the consequences.

I appreciate that some see domestic policy and foreign policy as one and the same. This causes them to support the likes of McCain, Romney and other centrists who promise strength abroad and reform at home, but the game is up. Radicalism means that America needs to repair itself and adopt a fuck 'em and forget 'em policy abroad.

The idea of manifest destiny has somehow been confused with America as world policeman. That's tragic. The Founders never believed that, and neither should we. The dergingolade that was France after their revolution, impressed upon the Founders that good intentions do not equal good outcomes. And that's the lesson. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. Yet American blood and treasure has been exhausted in exactly the opposite of that principle in the past few decades.

Do I long for a better champion of freedom than Ron Paul? Yes. But if I have to compare the philosophy of the current candidates, I have to go with Paul. For all the lamentable static, he has the best, clear message for the restoration of America, qua America.

Michael...

Stephen Berry's picture

Paul's policy is to cut $1 trillion of spending and eliminate five Government departments that have nothing to do with defence.

Kook Paul

gregster's picture

Asked; "Why don't you come out and tell the truth about 9/11?"

moral relativism

Doug Bandler's picture

Ron Paul's approach to libertarianism seems to me to combine a state's rights Conservatism (as Michael has so well demonstrated) with some Von Misean economics (not enough) and with a Leftist foreign policy. He's a weird fucking mix.

But the one thing I have noticed lately is that he has the same strain of moral relativism that the entire Left has. To him all nations have the same right to pursue self defense and thus to pursue nuclear weapons. This is a truly obvious, and repulsive, case of relativism. Can he make no distinctions between nations, between ideologies, between those that stand for life and those that stand for death? Apparently he can't.

Paul is more philosophical than any other Republican. The problem is that his philosophy sucks. Broadly speaking, he is caught up in the subjectivist approach to libertarianism that dominates that movement. He also throws in a good measure of religion and social Conservatism as well. His "non-interventionism" is another example of his relativism gone amuck.

Its a shame, because if you were to take Paul's Von Misean streak and combine it with say Robert Spencer's understanding of Islam, Diana West's understanding of the folly of Nation building and the better Tea Partier's understanding of the need to cut government plus a true pro-America tone - well then that Ron Paul would stand a good chance of getting elected and truly helping the country. But this Ron Paul is a disaster as he is.

Stephen

Michael Moeller's picture

The point of my analogy -- and overall argument -- is that the argument for police/military action based on what funding might be under a "libertarian" government is the logical fallacy of hypothesis contrary to fact. You simply do not know what that funding would be.

My further point is that, if you want a strong argument, you need to base your argument on what you would consider legitimate police/military functions. And this is the problem with Ron Paul. His foreign policy denies legitimate military action, which you sweep up into a pile under the label of "mass government intervention". In the case of Iran, for instance, he is denying not only a threat, but a regime that is engaged in a proxy war against America and the numero uno state sponsor of terrorism against America. An immoral position such as this does not become moral by hypothesizing about government funding in an ideal "libertarian" state. It is also the reason he is roundly and rightly denounced in America on foreign policy.

And if you and others are that concerned about government spending and tax policy, why not take a look at his proposed policies in both those areas now? Why is there not a problem with those policies?

Michael

Robert

Doug Bandler's picture

That was one of the best posts I've read on potential solutions to America's foreign policy woes. You got more right in 5 or 6 paragraphs than most Objectivists have gotten right in 10 years.

Stephen

reed's picture

As much as I hate abortion I hate the banning of it even more.

Why do you hate abortion?

Michael...

Stephen Berry's picture

"To put it another way, what if I said that a voluntary taxation system could not possibly afford the current police force, and cuts need to be made. Therefore, I say we stop pursuing many criminals now because in a "libertarian" society we would not have the funds to pursue the same type of police action. Raise your hand if you think this is a good line of reasoning? Exactly."

There is a difference between a state defending the rights of its own citizens and a state engaging in foreign adventurism.

One is a legitimate function of the state and the other most certainly is not.
There is no doubt that is insufficient voluntary contributions were made to a legitimate police force it would have to cut back.

Robert - love your analogy on defence!

entitlements

Robert's picture

Indeed. I'd forgotten that aspect of Paul's plans. That is a domestic short circuit that threatens to set fire to the foriegn policies of every candidate.

You can't fund a military (or police or judges or anything else) until you've weaned the public off consuming 200% of everything that is produced in the country.

While you are doing that, you can certainly make the military leaner and meaner.

First you can close army bases in NATO countries east of Poland and the Chezch Republic. Airbases take longer to build and airforces aren't particularly mobile so the big airbases at Ramstein etc can stay. But the rest can be brought home - with the savings from the first few years being invested in building fast transport ships and larger capacity aircraft & airships required to make the Army the most deployable on the planet (as opposed to being the most deployed on the planet). Most of the Army's man-power is depolyed as logistical support to its far-flung units. The US military will always have a long logistics tail, but if it wasn't spread-eagled over 4/5ths of the globe and was concentrated only where it was fighting - that would save a hell of a lot.

And while we are at it, you can close all of the sodding embassies in countries where Friday-night entertainment consists of getting together and burning a US flag while shouting Death to the USA and Israel and massaging your nipples. Every one of those places has a Marine security detachment. As far as I'm concerned, if you are a US citizen working in a shit-hole like that then you should demand that your company pay for private security & airlift support or take the risk on yourself. Likewise the pirate patrols off Africa.

Unless you are going to actually bomb a base on foriegn soil, the US military shouldn't be doing perpetual convoy escort/hostage rescue operations. Permit merchant ships to arm and armor themselves and see how Somali fishermen fair against the firepower that a modern multinational corporation can deploy.

Next you can kill the F35 project. And go back to the good old days of military procurement when the army put up a set of specs and private firms - on their own dime - developed prototypes to please it. And after winning, a set unit price was agreed to as opposed to the bullshit we have today.

Following that, you can pull out of the UN, sell the building to Donald Trump and stop all public foreign aid. Including military advisers to back-water non-strategic shitholes like Uganda.

To deal with Pakistan, you stop giving them aid of any sort and make a military and economic alliance with India - Pakistan's mortal enemy and the oldest most stable democracy in that portion of the world.

To deal with Iran, you basically feed guns and bombs to the opposition who seem to be behind the demolition of two Iranian nuclear facilities and one Kuds-force General. That and you drill for oil in the USA and deliberately deflate the price for the sodding stuff so the only threads holding up Iran's enormous military are cut while your own economy is strengthened by access to cheap energy.

To deal with China, you'll need to get back to sound money, pay the debts back and encourage - through free trade - the recovery and strengthening of economies in Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, India and Thailand. At the same time, you suggest that they need modern weapons to defend against Chinese militarism and then you allow US industries to arm them by removing a good number of the restrictions to US arms sales.

If China has to only look to the US for opposition, then they will fancy themselves in a military contest. If they have to look to the US and all of Asia, then they will need an ever increasingly large military. Which will put that regieme in a quandry: do we want economic expansion or military expansion or do we try for both and suffer the same fate as the USSR?

Continue to kill Al Quaeda, but I expect that with their pay-masters & armourers in Iran gone, and the price of oil around a penny a barrel, they should die out because their operatives will have to work for a living as opposed to living off the largess of uber-rich Shieks.

There are a few starting points for dealing with the largest of America's enemies. Deal with them, and begin minding our own business and America won't need quite as large of a ~standing~ military. Weekend warriors on the otherhand - we can have as many of them as will sign up for a chance to practice blowing stuff up 2 months of every year.

Thank you Mark...

Robert's picture

Now if you can help me figure out how we get from where we are today to where we would like to end up...

And that's the point. Everybody and their dog knows what Utopia looks like. Very few know the way there. And those with the Chutzpah to suggest a route seem either to be less than honest or unable to keep their dicks away from skeezy SWFs or 40-cards short of a full deck.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if objectivist brainacs would spend less time denouncing one another and more time figuring out how to build the flux-capactitor we need to get back to the Future that the Founding Fathers hoped we would gain?

Problem

Michael Moeller's picture

"The question that all libertarians, Objectivists included, evade, is that under anything remotely like a minarchist state, constant foreign military expenditures, particularly nation building, aren't possible."

There is a problem with this line of reasoning -- it is a counterfactual claim and the logical fallacy of hypothesis contrary to fact. Nobody is seeking to evade such an argument, it is just not a good argument. You cannot start with what is not true, and then argue from there as if it is true.

I could easily argue the other way. The US defense budget in 2010 was $680 billion, which is roughly $2250/individual. Considering what I pay now in taxes and what I would be willing to pay for defense under a voluntary system, I would cover an awful lot of people. And there would be many people like me -- enough to cover the total of 300 million people at a cost of $2250/individual. And this does not begin to take account of other things, such as the decreased cost of goods in a freer market.

Point being: you look at the justice of the action, not hypotheticals about what things may cost in the event of X.

To put it another way, what if I said that a voluntary taxation system could not possibly afford the current police force, and cuts need to be made. Therefore, I say we stop pursuing many criminals now because in a "libertarian" society we would not have the funds to pursue the same type of police action. Raise your hand if you think this is a good line of reasoning? Exactly.

I find that the fiscal justification for Ron Paul's foreign policy are being used as a means to excuse the immorality of his positions. I agree with Ross that the US should not be the world's policeman, and I do not agree with nation-building. However, Ron Paul's positions go WELL BEYOND that, including sticking his head in the sand about Iran, saying if they do get a nuclear weapon it gives them "respect", providing cover for Islamic terrorists, dragging terrorists into civilian courts, lamenting the executions of people like al-Awlaki and bin Laden, and on and on and on.

I mean, REALLY? We should overlook (read: excuse) all that because people speculate that an assertive foreign policy that strikes against clear and imminent threats could not be funded in a more capitalist society?

Robert made a very important point. You start from where we are, and you chart the best course to get to your destination. You do not reason from speculative hypotheticals, you reason from what is.

With that in mind, say you advocate a voluntary taxation system. This is your goal, which I assume to be the case for those arguing we would not have the funds for attacking places like Iran or Afghanistan or Iraq. Well, does Ron Paul offer the best tax policy to push us in that direction? No, he has the second worst tax policy of all the Republican candidates.

Along with taxation is spending policy. Does Ron Paul offer the best spending policy to push us in that direction? No. While his discretionary spending is good, he leaves the worst aspect of government intervention intact -- entitlements. Taken as whole, he probably has the second worst spending policy as well.

Bottom line: if you are looking for the best candidate to move in the limited government direction, Ron Paul and his policies ain't your cup of tea.

Michael

Robert, great analogy for the

Mark Hubbard's picture

Robert, great analogy for the workings of a Libertarian military. It's not something I've thought a lot about, but I like that.

Non-Interventionist/Isolationist Foreign Policy and Ron Paul

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

For Ron Paul to call the "Palestinians" victims, and the Israeli's aggressors [as in that video posted by Michael Moeller 7 comments above], is wildly off-target, non-historic, and immoral. Still, he has some very logical and proper things to say about his non-interventionist/isolationist foreign policy in his 2006 book Revolution (chapter 2).

He even has intelligent and good things to say about Israel. He notes that American aid discourages these natural entrepreneurs from converting more fully from socialism to capitalism. And he points out that America has way too much influence on internal Israeli matters. Certainly changing these two would have many positive direct and subsidiary effects in the Middle East.

But on the whole I think Ron Paul is naive and impractical about the objective threats to the West from Muslim and communist countries. I myself favor a free-nation foreign policy of systematic Dictatorship Destruction and concomitant Rescue and Liberation. [Ayn Rand discussed this issue far too briefly, in my view.]

This last is consonant with common sense, good will, human solidarity, and the brotherhood of man. It's a wise, self-interested investment in one's fellow man. Possibly as much as 1/2 or even 1% of GDP of free nations should be invested in terminating tyrannies and freeing slaves, and thus creating: 1) fewer potential future enemies; 2) more potential future friends and allies; 3) more markets to buy from and sell to; 4) more human intellectual genius and artistic greatness released to enrich the world.

Altho' Ron Paul often beautifully cites many astute, virtuous, and time-tested American Founding Fathers in promulgating his version of foreign policy, I ultimately find his vision and philosophy (as in that anti-Israeli video above) somewhat cold, hostile, ignorant, and depraved.

Ross...

Robert's picture

Thanks. Much more succinct & to the point than my bloviating.

The only thing I would add is that

If you want to look to how to structure a Libertarian military, you need to look to the human immune system. The human body suffers mightily from the diversion of resources and the destruction incurred when it is attacked by microbes.

Philosophically speaking this mimics closely what happens to a national economy during time of war. Thus the human-body economizes on its 'peace-time military. This is what a libertarian economy must do.

In the human immune system there is a full-time dedicated patrol force to detect incursions and to contain them (the various white blood cells etc. of the 'innate' portion of the immune system) along side a state of the art rapid chemical-communication and mobilization system that 'calls out the militia' when it is determined that reinforcements are required.

These militia are 'trained' by a cadre of white-blood cells that 'remember' the way a particular invasion was defeated previously. There you have it: 1,000 years of trial and error under natural selection gives you a pretty good blue print for an economical national self-defense.

Basically the only 'professional' military you need is an NCO & Staff college to train officers and NCOs. You need a small retinue of professional forces to carry out the training of enlisted ranks in an emergency and to do the containment and patrol and intelligence work.

More than that can be maintained by permitting the populous to familiarize themselves with firearms & such as they wish - a situation already set up by the second amendment to the Constitution. Defense against a repeat of Pearl Habor style sneak attack has already been invented: nuclear-tipped ICBMs in unreachable SSBNs.

Further

Ross Elliot's picture

"1) He thinks it is acceptable for the states to regulate things in a way that it is not for the federal government. Theoretically this could mean a state banning marijuana.

2) He supports allowing the states to ban abortion. As much as I hate abortion I hate the banning of it even more."

Under the US constitution it is quite possible for states to regulate anything not forbidden by the constitution.

How else would you have it?

Well, you could dispense with federalism and have Washington manage everything.

Lesson: the Bill of Rights was designed to protect the liberties that the constitution did not explicitly expound. The 10th amendment reserved to the states, or to the people, those powers that the constitution did not grant to the Feds. It was a belt and braces clause.

Now, you can argue that states should not deny liberties just because the constitution does not forbid them to do so, but that is up to the states to decide. Why? Because the Founding Fathers were smarter than you give them credit for.

They knew that the function of the state was to perform its *enumerated* powers, and to do nothing else. The state in this case was the Federal government. The states relinquished certain powers to the Feds and that was all. Unless you understand this about America, you can't understand much else.

You can't

Ross Elliot's picture

"How can they afford to invade another country - especially if, as you, I and Ron Paul advocate, income tax is abolished?"

The question that all libertarians, Objectivists included, evade, is that under anything remotely like a minarchist state, constant foreign military expenditures, particularly nation building, aren't possible.

You can make a case for, and indeed fund, retaliatory action, but you can't sustain much else. And that is perfectly proper. America's policy in the early 20th century was a function of this idea. It was isolationist and only became interventionist when American interests were threatened. And that was as it should be.

The idea that America has to be the world's policeman needs to be challenged. Not by the simps on the left, but by the champions of freedom and limited government. The world doesn't thank America, it despises it. It's like Hank Rearden's family taking his money yet chastising him for it. It's become the sanction of the victim.

I say let the world wallow in its own shame and folly, and let America restore its greatness at home.

Rand would never have condoned the current situation. Not because she didn't believe in self-defence, but because she didn't believe in self-sacrifice.

The simple answer is...

Robert's picture

They don't.

You can't run the US by fiat. Britain tried it in 1776 and got their arse handed to them. If you want to change anything you have to convince the American people of the wisdom of your plan.

Leadership in this sense consists of building a consensus - Martin Luther King said something like that and he ought to know, he built one and changed one aspect of America. Cue: admonitions for quoting a statist/religionist favorably.

One of the things that Libertarians and Objectivists forget is that nobody is going to buy your new invention unless you have a plan that includes the overview of the machine (e.g. Taxes are theft) and has a valid mechanical diagram describing how this thing actually works. It doesn't matter whether that mechanical diagram is in the first chapter or the appendix, but it MUST be there.

The problem for either doctrine is that when it comes to politics the main advocates have excelled at criticizing the faults in the current system but have spent less than 0.1% of their time figuring out how they want it to work and then how to manage the transition. Sure there are proposals for Justice Insurance (one of Rand's books has an outline - Capitalism, I think it is) or a lottery - but no one plan is accepted by a plurality of Objectivists or Libertarians. No wonder then that outsiders aren't buying it.

That counts double when you consider that the prevailing wisdom is to let the system collapse under its own weight and then start rebuilding as in Galt's Gulch.

So what you get is Conservatives and Liberals borrowing Objectivist/Libertarian arguments against the status quo to bolster their own arguments.

The first thing you need to fix this is an advocate with the drive and the intellect to come up with a plan and defend it. Thus far no Objectivist/Libertarian has arisen with the drive and the flair (there is no shortage of brain power) to make an argument and then take into the political arena.

The closest/most successful Libertarian in modern US Politics is Ron Paul. Problem for Paul is that while I agree with his isolationist goals, his plan for managing the transition (and therefore decreasing the US military budget to a point where you could stand a half chance of coming up with a believable voluntary scheme) consists of: retreating in the face of people who cow their own populations by threatening to kill them. A five year old with experience dealing with bullies/scum of any description will tell you what happens next. And if a 5-year old can see holes in your plan... Paul isn't even convincing me that he intends to walk softly and carry a fucking huge gun with a hair trigger.

Were Paul to fix that aspect of his policy, I expect that he'd trounce Fanny Freddy Gingrich and Barrack Romney. Such is the state of the field. Although it is nice to listen to Gingrich from the point of view of listening to someone who has his own ideas as opposed to someone (Perry, Romney Cain etc) in the process of learning them by wrote after having them thoroughly vetted by focus groups.

But it goes to show you something else.

You have to have a credible game-plan that covers the whole field of issues, and all phases of the game. Thus far Objectivists and Libertarians have only gotten around to describing what the goal line looks like. People like the description - that is why Atlas Shrugged etc. sell so well. But in politics you need to do more.

Unfortunately for objectivists/libertarians, we are on our own 1 yard line, the opposition has the ball and a full set of downs & time outs to play with. If you want the home fans to cheer you instead of jeering you, you'd better come up with something better than "we need to spend more time THEIR half if we want to win."

Actually, I tell a lie. A frighteningly large number of "Objectivists" do have a game plan for winning the future.

Let the opposition score & win the game. Sometime the during the debauched celebrations the fans, officials and opposition players will pull down the stadium and start eating one another. To win, all we have to do is avoid the cooking pot long enough for the surviving opposition players to die of coronary heart-disease. Then all that needs doing is to gather up all the pieces of the ball, tape it back together and stroll to the top of the pile of debris and bleached bones that covers the opposition goal line -- at that point, objectivists will have unchallenged dominion of all that remains. Huzzah.

The USA's military budget in

Stephen Berry's picture

The USA's military budget in 2010 was $1.4 trillion. The population of the US is 307 million. That's $4,560 for every person living in the United States.

How do libertarians propose to maintain a military the size of the US, and continue wth the current policy of mass foreign intervention, without compulsory taxation?

Scott

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I am a critic of Ron Paul. Scratch my surface and you will find neither "someone who explicitly supports big government policies [n]or implicitly does because they by necessity support [a]Republican alternative to Paul." I am dismayed at the paucity of the quality of the candidates. The same, I venture to suggest, is true of Mr Moeller. I don't support Paul because he's what in the days of Saddam I would call a Saddamite: he's an appeaser of Islamofascism and traitor to Israel. You yourself, in your less True Believer "Doctor" Paul moments, confess to misgivings about his foreign policy. But mere misgivings don't do justice to the deranged nonsense Ron Paul talks about 9/11 being "blowback," Muslims not hating the West because it stands for freedom, letting Iran build nukes, etc. His foreign policy is ignorant and beyond dangerous, as is evident from his unhinged incoherence every time he expounds it.

Another Ron Paul Classic

Michael Moeller's picture

In this first video, we have Ron Paul on Iranian State TV denouncing Israel and claiming that the Gaza Palestinians are living in "concentration camps".

Here is the Palestinian reaction after 9-11.

Whose side is Ron Paul on? Maybe, just maybe, his defense cuts have nothing to do with spending, but rather are the result of a warped ideology that seeks to dismantle even legitimate government functions.

Michael

Uh, Scott

Michael Moeller's picture

"I find it interesting that those who are adamant about cutting domestic welfare to US citizens suddenly support the idea of welfare when it applies to foreign nations.

Please tell me who those people are, and where those people ever said any such thing. If you are referring to me, you might want to get your facts straight. I have never supported foreign aid.

And trying to shift the focus to me is not an argument for Ron Paul. Let's face facts, the guy completely obliterated his promises on entitlements, and you are once again at great pains to find a way to excuse it. You know, by trying to claim that I support something I have never supported. Try again.

And about America funding another war, take a good look at the graphs I provided. Defense spending is near historic lows, even with wars, so defense spending is not the root of America's spending problems.

And in case you haven't watched the news lately, the troops have left Iraq and are drawing down in Afghanistan, so how exactly was that dooming America to "eternal war"?

I guess eternity just ain't as long as it used to be, at least according to your definition.

Michael

Ron Paul

atlascott's picture

If you scratch the surface of a critic of Ron Paul you will always find either someone who explicitly supports big government policies or someone who implicitly does because they by necessity support Republican alternative to Paul. As to whether Ron Paul "starts" with cutting defense spending, this is purely a fiction by Michael. Ron Paul lays out many things he would cut. I find it interesting that those who are adamant about cutting domestic welfare to US citizens suddenly support the idea of welfare when it applies to foreign nations. In other words domestic entitlement programs must be the first to go , but supporting foreign nations with our dollars and the lives of our soldiers are the last things which want to be cut . Well, in some quarters, the blood of American citizens is a first concern, and that is true of Ron Paul. Of course, America can no longer afford the foreign spending as well as the prospect of an additional war. But you will never hear fake lovers of small government like Michael ever acknowledge that. Instead, they seem content to believe fear mongering which would doom America to eternal war, much to the satisfaction of the ruling elite in the United States. But that is not the vision of America held by the founding fathers, it is not the vision of America which is in accord wKith the Constitution, and it is also not the vision of America which is in accord with what most Americans want and believe about America and themselves.

As much as I hate abortion I

reed's picture

As much as I hate abortion I hate the banning of it even more.

Why do you hate abortion?

Stephen

Michael Moeller's picture

Well, Ron Paul's advocacy of "states' rights" extends to more than just social issues, such as legalization of marijuana, abortion, etc. As I noted on this thread (See my comment on page 3 at 2011-10-05 15:45 and thereafter), Ron Paul also permits the states "to do bad things" to economic liberty, like institute an individual mandate in healthcare.

As to your question here, I am not sure why you are starting with national defense, which is a legitimate function of the federal government. If we are going to start cutting, it should start with entitlements. However, as I noted previously (See my comment on page 2 at 2011-10-20 23:31), Ron Paul continues with significant expansions of Medicare and Social Security (while capping Medicaid, which is smallest of the entitlement programs by far). The worst part is that he totally obliterated his own promises to deal with entitlements -- end entitlements, reduce them by 20%, privatize SS, or whatever the promise of the day was -- but manages to hold true to his promise to cut defense (by 15%). What does that tell you about Ron Paul's priorities?

Stephen, if things are going to be cut, don't you think national defense should be the last on the list considering it actually is a legitimate government function?

And, you need to keep the budget in perspective. The explosion in Obama's deficit is not due to defense, it is due to lost revenue from the economic downturn, expanded entitlements, and discretionary spending via the Stimulus. The cold truth about defense spending is that it is near historic lows as a % of GDP and as a % of total government outlays, and nowhere near what it was in previous wars.

In light of that Stephen, shouldn't you and Ron Paul be focusing elsewhere in order to cut spending? I don't have a problem per se with defense cuts, but, particularly in Ron Paul's case, his defense cuts seem to be the result of his anti-military animus, not the reality of the federal budget.

Michael

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